Thetans have been described in the Church of
* A "thetan is an immortal spiritual being; the human soul." * "The being who is the individual and who handles and lives in the body." * "A thetan is not a thing, a thetan is the creator of things." * A thetan is "the person himself—not his body or his name, the physical universe, his mind, or anything else; that which is aware of being aware; the identity which is the individual. The thetan is most familiar to one and all as you."
According to the Church of
THETAN IN SCIENTOLOGY DOCTRINE
The term and concept were defined by
Hubbard once defined a thetan as: "... having no mass, no wave-length, no energy, no measurable qualities and no time or location in space except by consideration or postulate. The spirit is not a thing. It is the creator of things." In a lecture series later published as a book ("The Phoenix Lectures"), he jokingly pointed to a study that implied that a "thetan" manifests a small but measurable amount of mass: "From some experiments conducted about fifteen or twenty years ago—a thetan weighed about 1.5 ounces ! Who made these experiments? Well, a doctor made these experiments. He weighed people before and after death, retaining any mass. He weighed the person, bed and all, and he found that the weight dropped at the moment of death about 1.5 ounces and some of them 2 ounces . (Those were super thetans!)"
Although Hubbard did not name the doctor concerned, there was indeed such an attempt, by Dr. Duncan MacDougall , to measure the weight of dying patients to determine the weight of the soul, although MacDougall's experiments took place about fifty years before Hubbard's lectures, not fifteen or twenty, and are generally not regarded as having any scientific validity.
According to Hubbard's son Ronald DeWolf (born L. Ron Hubbard, Jr.), his father stated that thetans are immortal and perpetual, having willed themselves into existence at some point several trillion years ago. After they originated, thetans generated "points to view" or "dimension points", causing space to come into existence. They agreed that other thetans' dimension points existed, thus bringing into existence the entire universe. All matter, energy, space, and time exists solely because thetans agree that it exists.
In the primordial past, according to Scientologist teachings, thetans brought the material universe into being largely for their own pleasure.." The universe is thought to have no independent reality, but to derive its apparent reality from the fact that most thetans agree it exists. Scientologists believe that thetans fell from grace when they began to identify with their creation, rather than their original state of spiritual purity. Eventually, they lost their memory of their true nature, along with the associated spiritual and creative powers. As a result, thetans came to think of themselves as nothing but embodied beings.
Thetans are believed to be reborn time and time again in new bodies
through a process called "assumption" which is analogous to
reincarnation . Dell deChant and
Danny Jorgensen liken
Jon Atack , whose book A Piece of Blue Sky details how he reached Operating Thetan level V before leaving Scientology, describes Hubbard's doctrines about thetans: "Thetans are all-knowing beings, and became bored because there were no surprises. Hubbard asserted that the single most important desire in all beings is to have a 'game '. To have a 'game' it was necessary to 'not know' certain things, so certain perceptions were negated ('not-is-ed')." Since thetans knew everything, this required them to abandon or suppress perceptions and knowledge. Over time, the loss of perception accumulated and certain thetans began to cause harm to others. MEST (physical) beings also sought to "trap" thetans in order to control them. Thetans came to learn contrition, punishing themselves for their own "harmful" acts.
According to Hubbard, an essential part of the thetans' game was the "conquest" of matter, energy, space, and time by the life force, theta. This has produced multiple universes which have ended and begun in succession, each new one being more solid and entrapping than the last. The thetans have by now become so enmeshed in the physical universe that many have identified themselves totally with it, forgetting their quadrillions of years of existence and their original godly powers.
According to Scientology, thetan powers are said to remain potent and
restorable. One of the Church of Scientology's stated goals is "the
rehabilitation of the human spirit", by which it means the restoration
of the thetan's original abilities. Hubbard claims that thetans are
able to change reality through "postulates"—decisions made by the
individual about the nature of the reality around them. Some thetans
are said to have (mis)used this ability to "implant" others with
hypnotic suggestions, forcing other thetans to "cluster" around bodies
(hence body thetans ). This sort of directed control is referred to as
The Scientological notion of the thetan differs from other religions, such as Judaism and Christianity, in three significant ways. While other belief systems “fuse the concept of the body and soul”, the thetan is “separate and independent.” Also unlike the Judeo-Christian tradition, Scientologists believe that the thetan has “lived through many, perhaps thousands of lifetimes.” Third, different from the Christian notion of original sin, Scientology believes that the thetan is basically good, but “has lost touch with its true nature.”
Religious scholar Richard Holloway writes that thetans were not created, but they created themselves, adopting and creating the human body as a vehicle or existence.
THETANS AND DEATH
Non-Scientologists Joel Sappell and Robert Welkos described in a 1990
article in the LA Times how Scientologists believe that when a person
While Hubbard’s discovery of the thetan led to the development of an elaborate cosmology, the doctrinal structure he created is based on the following propositions: “Man is an immortal spiritual being. His experience extends well beyond a single lifetime. His capabilities are unlimited, even if not presently realized.”
Main article: Operating Thetan
The Church defines "Operating Thetan" as "knowing and willing cause over life , thought , and matter , energy , space and time (MEST )."
The Church of
CLEARED THETA CLEAR
Even beyond the Operating Thetan levels comes the "Cleared Theta Clear", a godlike state which Hubbard describes this way:
"A thetan who is completely rehabilitated and can do everything a thetan should do, such as move MEST and control others from a distance, or create his own universe; a person who is able to create his own universe or, living in the MEST universe is able to create illusions perceivable by others at will, to handle MEST universe objects without mechanical means and to have and feel no need of bodies or even the MEST universe to keep himself and his friends interested in existence".
Main article: Body thetan
A body thetan is a disincarnate thetan who is "stuck" in, on or near a human body, and all human bodies are said to be infested by these disembodied thetans, or clusters of them. This information is not revealed until a Scientologist reaches Section III of the Operating Thetan levels (commonly referred to as "OT III"). Body thetans were said by Hubbard to be a result of a prehistoric "Incident" involving Xenu .
* ^ A B C D E Hubbard (June 1975).
Dianetics and Scientology
Technical Dictionary. Bridge Publications. p. 432. ISBN 0-88404-037-2
* ^ "Nerve Assist – Assists for Illnesses and Injuries, How can